I love being outdoors but the idea of sleeping outside under the stars or in a tent has never been appealing to me. My father-in-law and two brothers-in-law hiked in to the Grand Canyon a few years back and they asked me if I was interested in going. While I loved the idea, I could not bring myself to the overnight camping part. I said, â€œThanks, but no thanksâ€.
So my idea of summer camp included an air conditioned room and a soft bed. While I knew plenty of kids that trekked off to church camp to spend their days and night battling mosquitoes and sweating through shirt after shirt, I chose to attend Uplift and Impact. I would spend a Sunday through Friday on a university campus and sleeping in a dorm room while enjoying camp activities with hundreds of kids from around the country.
I was blessed to have several amazing experiences and met some pretty fantastic individuals. I also was exposedâ€”on multiple occasionsâ€”to the feeling of summer camp love. If you’ve never experienced this phenomenon, it goes something like this:
- Sunday: Arrive at camp
- Monday: Meet a cute boy/girl
- Tuesday: Spend an inordinate amount of time together
- Wednesday: Hold hands and take a long walk during free time
- Thursday: Have a first kiss
- Friday: Have an emotional/tearful goodbye expressing undying love and promising to write EVERY DAY
At summer camp, you see, days are like weeks/months. They had to be because, at least for the camps I went to, we only had a week and for hormonal teens is an awfully long time. It helped me understand something at a very early age: Timelines are relative. It was an important lesson to learn.
Too often we get stuck in a rut thinking that processes and timelines are static. They are not, especially when it comes to change. Planning for change is essential and having an understanding of how change happens makes you more likely to be successful. Being dogmatic about a schedule for change, however, will only end in heartache and frustration.
As leaders, one of our greatest challenges is leading change (of any size and scope). Being able to differentiate between when a â€œsummer camp loveâ€ schedule is appropriate and when a â€œglacier movementâ€ schedule is needed is a key determinate of success. The success-defining moment in leading change happens when you need to move like summer camp but your team wants to move like a glacier.
But more on motivation laterâ€¦